Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laminin Builds The Neuromuscular Synapse

Date:
September 15, 2008
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Like a plug and a socket, a nerve and a muscle fiber mesh at the neuromuscular junction. New work reveals that an extracellular matrix protein called laminin shapes both sides of the junction to ensure they fit together.

Like a plug and a socket, a nerve and a muscle fiber mesh at the neuromuscular junction. New work reveals that an extracellular matrix protein called laminin shapes both sides of the junction to ensure they fit together.

A neuromuscular junction, or synapse, in a newborn mouse is functional but simple, with a globular nerve terminal meeting a flat, oval structure on the muscle fiber. As the animal matures, the nerve terminal branches into a claw shape, and the muscle side contorts into a matching conformation. But what coordinates these changes so the two sides mirror each other? The researchers think that one molecule in the synapse sculpts both sides.

Their chief suspect was the synapse-spanning protein laminin. Made by muscle and forming part of the sheath that covers muscle, the laminin protein has different domains called alpha, beta, and gamma chains. Previous work had shown that the beta2 chain of laminin spurs differentiation of the nerve terminal. The team has now found evidence that the alpha chains of laminin influence post-synaptic patterning. For example, maturation of the muscle side slowed in mice lacking the alpha5 chain of laminin in their muscles.

The researchers discovered that cell surface receptor molecules that recognize and bind laminin, are corralled by laminin on the muscle side of the synapse. These receptors, in turn, gather other receptors that respond to signals from the nerve. Overall, the work suggests that the beta and alpha chains of laminin together influence pre-synaptic and post-synaptic development, thus providing a way to coordinate maturation of the sending and receiving sides of the synapse.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nishimune, H., et al. . Journal of Cell Biology, (in press) DOI: 10.1083/jcb.200805095

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Laminin Builds The Neuromuscular Synapse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915083339.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2008, September 15). Laminin Builds The Neuromuscular Synapse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915083339.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Laminin Builds The Neuromuscular Synapse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915083339.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins